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Old 01-18-2009, 05:50 PM   #1
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exhaust smell when the furnace kicks on


I have a old converted coal to oil furnace (with service dates dateing back to 1958), When it kicks on there is a smell of exhaust fumes, it appears that between the furnacne cover and the actual cast iron furnace there is a flow of air coming from the bottom, Is there a vent to allow air in the furnace or is this possibly a hidden crack leaking fumes into the house? Is this smell normal or is it time for a new furnace?

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Old 01-18-2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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exhaust smell when the furnace kicks on


It DEFINITELY is time for a new furnace. Oil burners can produce CO Carbon Monoxide as easily as a gas furnace. Those old beasts had to be yearly sealed up with stove cement and are horribly inefficient. Get 2 CO detectors and quotes on a new one ASAP!

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Old 01-18-2009, 07:21 PM   #3
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exhaust smell when the furnace kicks on


Time for a new furnace weather you get fumes or not.

But, since your getting fumes. You have problems.

Agt that age, its not a economical thing to repair it, its an oil hog.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:50 AM   #4
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exhaust smell when the furnace kicks on


i know i should keep my sarcasm to myself but duh do ya really think its time for a new furnace like maybe 25 years ago im sorry but i couldnt resist
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:14 AM   #5
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exhaust smell when the furnace kicks on


You must have a vent from the outside to admit combustion air/oxygen for the furnace. This is preferably in the basement so as not to suck heated air from the living space. Do you have a basement window you can leave ajar to see if that cures the odor problem?

There should be an air intake for the combustion chamber of the furnace, generally near floor level. If vapors or smoke come out of that, then you have a venting problem either within the furnace or in the chimney or having to do with circulation and venting of the house itself.

In older construction, the less meticulously sealed cracks such as around windows sufficed as air vents. Seal up cracks in ductwork.

In the event of a cracked heat exchanger letting combustion gases become commingled with room air in a hot air system, you really should shut the whole thing down until appropriate repairs (usually requires replacement) can be done. Get a CO (carbon monoxide) detector and test various areas in the living space above a day at a time.

If the basement is not used as living space (playroom, etc.) there should be no heat vents or return vents in use down there.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-19-2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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exhaust smell when the furnace kicks on


i would get a new furnace before your family gets co posioning, hate to be harsh but that is what it sounds like

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